Barbara Kruger

USA / °1945 /
"I think what I’m trying to do is create moments of recognition. To try to detonate some kind of feeling or understanding of lived experience.” (Barbara Kruger)

"I just say I’m an artist who works with pictures and words." (Barbara Kruger)

“Making art is about objectifying your experience of the world, transforming the flow of moments into something visual, or textual, or musical, whatever. Art creates a kind of commentary.” (Barbara Kruger)

Kruger’s body of work is multilayered in its complexity; it addresses not only the issues of sexism, but also consumerism, individualism, alienation, power and numerous other human desires. The text used by the artist to create the message becomes the intrinsic part of the work not only visually but also conceptually. Kruger creates work about our society, with its virtues and its vices: “I don’t know if [empathy] has been wired into us. But I mean I’ve never been engaged with the war of the sexes. It’s too binary. The good versus the bad. Who’s the good?” (the artist quoted in Ron Rosenbaum, ‘Barbara Kruger’s Artwork Speaks Truth to Power’, Smithsonian Magazine, July-August 2012). The phrase ‘look and listen’ that addresses the viewer directly way, may be variously interpreted – it could also be an encouragement to people in today’s age of alienation inside the cosmopolitan cities, the age when individualism has reached its peaks, to be more humane and sensitive to people around them – to give way to empathy. By posing questions about every aspect of our culture throughout her oeuvre, Kruger is writing her own narrative that embodies an all-rounded critic of society we live in.
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First Collected by

Eva Davidova


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